Giotto Biotech is one of the winning companies of Faber 2. Thanks to this funding, a new resource will become part of our team and will develop a research project addressed to the Italian agro-food companies. The project intends to apply nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) based metabolomics for the determination of the quality and the geographic characterization of agro-food product.

Faber 2 is a project of the di Fondazione CR Firenze, Confindustria Firenze and Fondazione per la Ricerca e l’Innovazione, promoted by Università degli Studi di Firenze and Città Metropolitana di Firenze.

A project of

In cooperation with

Congratulations to Alessia Vignoli! She won the two-years AIRC fellowship “Eduardo Spinnato”.”METabolomic profile as a prognostic biomarker of risk of recurrence in patients operated for COLon cancer (METCOL)” is the title of her research project. The project will be carried on thanks to a strict collaboration between Cerm (Prof. Claudio Luchinat research team) and the Medical Oncology Department at Hospital of Prato (Dr. Angelo Di Leo equipe).

Increasingly metabolomics, which attempts to profile all metabolites within a cell or biological system, is used to analyze cancer metabolism on a system-wide scale. The aim of this event is to provide an overview on the current state of metabolomic research in oncology. Experts and researchers in this field will meet in Florence on November, 28. Giotto Biotech will take part to the event.

This morning, Leonardo Tenori, member of Giotto Biotech Board of Director, spoke about Metabolomics based on NMR.

It was a great opportunity to illustrate to participants of Toscana Tech how Metabolomics based on NMR works and to offer some details about fields of application. Some examples of the fields of application are:

  • Biomedical: metabolomic profiling of biological fluids (breath condensate, expectorate, sweat, urine, blood, serum), disease fingerprinting.
  • Pharmaceutical: prediction of drug toxicity, analysis of mechanism of action and side effects.
  • Agro-food: analyses of food products (fruits, vegetables, dairy products, olive oil, meat and fish, etc.).
  • Probiotic: metabolomics of probiotic products for their characterization.



Metabolomics deals with the whole ensemble of metabolites (the metabolome). As one of the ‐omic sciences, it relates to biology, physiology, pathology and medicine; but metabolites are chemical entities, small organic molecules or inorganic ions. Therefore, their proper identification and quantitation in complex biological matrices requires a solid chemical ground. With respect to e.g. DNA, metabolites are much more prone to oxidation or enzymatic degradation: we can reconstruct large parts of a mammoth’s genome from a small specimen, but we are unable to do the same with its metabolome, which was probably largely degraded a few hours after the animal’s death. Thus, we need standard operating procedures, good chemical skills in sample preparation for storage and subsequent analysis, accurate analytical procedures, a broad knowledge of chemometrics and advanced statistical tools, and a good knowledge of at least one of the two metabolomics techniques, MS or NMR. All these skills are traditionally cultivated by chemists. Here we focus on metabolomics from the chemical standpoint, and restrict ourselves to NMR. From the analytical point of view NMR has pros and cons, but does provide a peculiar holistic perspective that may speak for its future adoption as a population‐wide health screening technique.

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